More Than 180 Glowing Fish Discovered
Living in Florida, we've all seen the jellyfish glowing in the Gulf of Mexico at night. But as many as 180 other bio-fluorescent sea animals were recently discovered by a team of researchers working in the Caribbean Sea.
Most fish inhabit a world that is colored in various shades of dark blue, as deeper and deeper water absorbs more and more visible light in the other parts of the spectrum. Recently, researchers have found that many fish absorb these small amounts of dark blue light and re-emit it in neon colors.
The researchers were inspired by a green eel fluorescing off of Little Cayman Island and that got them to research more. They used specific lighting to mimic the ocean's light and a special camera that can capture the fish's fluorescent light. With biofluorescence, the animal absorbs light, converts it, and sends it out in a different color. The team identified over 180 species of bioflourescent fish, and these fish have yellow filter in their eyes that help them see normally invisible fluorescent displays. Not only is this glowing protein beneficial to the species for communication and protection, but it could be useful for humans in a wide variety of scientific uses.